Breaking the coad to break the Super Bowl bank

January 29, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

"Oh, snowy night
Hurry us up
Don't be late
It is ..."

The message snapped me out of my trance.

It is what?

I guess I had fallen asleep, my eyes finally fading to another long night of reading. Not much else to do in this weather.

But someone - or something - was trying to contact me.

Was it a code? Apparently so. Because, as the renowned Herald-Mail cryptographer, I quickly cracked it.

Lucky for me, too. In all this downtime between games, I almost had forgotten - there's still one contest remaining in the NFL season.

And, it is ... the granddaddy of them all.

The message was a simple anagram. After rearranging the letters, it read: "Super Bowl Thirty-eight Sunday in Houston."

Now, I needed to pick a team to root for - a team to maybe bet a few dollars on to give me a reason to really care, since my team, Washington, isn't playing.


"Think S.D. in wagers, son."

It was another message. But what did it mean? Who or what is S.D.?

San Diego? Not likely. The Chargers aren't in the Super Bowl.

S.D.? S.D.? S.D.?

Of course, it's Carolina running back Stephen Davis, my former favorite player, who led the Panthers with his franchise-record 1,444 yards rushing this season.

Think Stephen Davis. Bet on Carolina. He will lead them to the Super Bowl title.

But there had to be something more to the message than that.

"Think S.D. in wagers, son."

It was another anagram: "Washington Redskins" - the team everyone knows is the true measuring stick in pro football.

The Panthers beat the Redskins, who beat the Patriots, this season. Which surely means the Panthers will beat the Patriots.

My money's on Carolina ... and "Big Jobs" next season.

But before I could crack that one, I was awakened by my alarm. I must have been dreaming.

I got out of bed, made some coffee and picked up where I had left off the night before in the best-selling thriller "The Da Vinci Code." I need to finish that book by Sunday.

Andy Mason is assistant sports editor of The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2334, or by e-mail at

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